Happenings in ABA!

  • In addition to Dr. Jenne Tunnell taking over as chair of the ABA Board of Governors at the December 6–8, 2017, in-person meeting in Reston, Virginia, Dr. Dennis Van Vliet was nominated as the vice chair. 
  • New board members Dr. Jennifer Drohosky, Dr. Alison Grimes, and Dr. Joscelyn Martin were also in attendance.
  • In April 2018, the ABA Board of Governors will be meeting at AAA 2018.
  • The new CH-TM is off to a great start with 62 registrations and 28 completions. Part Two of the CH-TM will be out Spring 2018. Don’t forget to sign up!
  • Over 300 individuals are CH-AP certificate holders. Congratulations! 

What led you to the field of audiology?

When I was a child, I was fascinated with Helen Keller’s story and her lifelong challenges living with deafness and blindness. She stated in her autobiography that her blindness separated her from things and that her deafness separated her from people. That passage stuck with me over the years. Add to that the fact that my father is an audiologist and a brilliant pianist, and you can see my path was pretty much written in the stars! Growing up as a witness to his love of music and passion for the profession really ingrained in me the possibilities the field holds in terms of helping people connect with the world through sound. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

When I see a family back for their child’s hearing aid or cochlear implant check, and the child doesn’t want to part with their devices for me to clean/program them! That’s when I know that we have truly provided something meaningful for the child. I also love how much variety there is in our profession. No two days are the same! There is always something unique about each patient that we see, and always something new to learn!

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Avoiding burnout. Working in a helping profession is not without demands and difficulties. It’s hard to step back and not take work home. It is a constant effort to ensure that you are taking time apart from the job to provide balance in your life. 

What difficulties do you see with hearing loss?

I often see patients who are hesitant to talk about their hearing loss with me. There is a perception that age has something to do with hearing loss and no one wants to feel old. 

Hearing loss can be difficult to talk about as there are several stigmas associated with it. One thing that we provide at our clinic, and I feel is vitally important, is a support group. We provide a support group for patients, as well as their families, and give them a safe space where they can advocate and support one another.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love to travel and study foreign languages. At one point, I could provide instructions for a hearing test in 12 different languages! I also love singing, drawing, cooking, and throwing theme parties.

What would you like to see during your time as the chair of the ABA Board of Governors?

This is an exciting time to be involved in ABA! We are on the brink of groundbreaking changes that will propel us further along the path toward becoming the most comprehensive certification of, by, and for eligible practicing audiologists. We plan to launch new offerings to improve accessibility for new graduates entering into the profession, and are planning new programs that will continue to provide opportunities for new and seasoned professionals to advance their careers along a tangible path to success.